‘Multi-Racial’ Marriage On The Rise

HandsAccording to a new Pew study, rates of so-called "multi-racial" marriage have more than doubled in 30 years:

About 15% of all new marriages in the United States in 2010 were between spouses of a different race or ethnicity from one another, more than double the share in 1980 (6.7%). Among all newlyweds in 2010, 9% of whites, 17% of blacks, 26% of Hispanics and 28% of Asians married out. Looking at all married couples in 2010, regardless of when they married, the share of intermarriages reached an all-time high of 8.4%. In 1980, that share was just 3.2%.

The increasing number of Americans marrying outside of their "race" roughly correlates with the rise of acceptance of mixed marriages, which has roughly doubled since 1986:

… nearly two-thirds of Americans (63%) say it “would be fine” with them if a member of their own family were to marry someone outside their own racial or ethnic group. In 1986, the public was divided about this. Nearly three-in-ten Americans (28%) said people of different races marrying each other was not acceptable for anyone, and an additional 37% said this may be acceptable for others, but not for themselves. Only one-third of the public (33%) viewed intermarriage as acceptable for everyone.

If there's any bad news in the study, it's that the tendency to "marry out," as Pew calls it, is not equally pronounced across all segments of the population, which — if I'm reading the results right — seems to suggest that some people might have difficulties marrying at all. In 2010, a quarter of all black men who became married did so with non-black partners, while only 9% of black women married out. That trend roughly reverses for for Asian-Americans, with 35% of Asian women "marrying out" compared to only 17% of Asian males. The number hints that there may be far more black women and Asian men who are uninterested in marrying or unable to marry members of other "races" than there are appropriate potential mates for them. (Black women have known about the shortage of marriageable black men for a while, and are unhappy about it.)



  1. Rick says

    This is nothing but a reflection of the “fetish” many white men have for Asian women on the one hand, and the fact that many Hispanics are virtually white on the other–which makes their marriages to whites not really “inter-racial”. Case in point: my brother-in-law is technically Hispanic because his father is Ecuadorian (and half-white), but his mother is of German descent and you would not know he is Hispanic to look at him.

    So there is no big change here…….any more than there is in the gay community when it comes to inter-racial coupling.

  2. Rick says

    Oh, and one other phenomenon I left out–the tendency of many black men who have succeeded to marry white women as “trophies”…..much to the irritation of black women (see Spike Lee’s “Jungle Fever”).

    Another reason not to view this as some kind of racial “harmonizing” going on.

  3. Paul R says

    I’m not sure why you’d call it so-called multi-racial. I guess that you could call it bi-racial. But you’re still mixing up races (technically ethnicities), since few people are of pure genetic heritage. My parents are German and British, so I’m not pure by any means.

    And again, please everyone: ignore Rick/Jason and his idiotic comment.

  4. Rick says

    LOL. Hilarious how when statistics tell a story that reveals how people really behave and is inconsistent with the politically correct view of how things are supposed to be, the Paul R’s of the world blow a fuse, attempt to ignore the facts, and engage in name-calling towards those who insist on seeing things the way they really are.

    From the article: “The number hints that there may be far more black women and Asian men who are uninterested in marrying or unable to marry members of other “races” than there are appropriate potential mates for them”

  5. mike128 says

    I’m surprised that only 63% of Americans would be fine if their family members married someone outside of their own race. It’s kind of amazing to me that 37% of Americans still have an issue with that.

  6. elg/edwin says

    The percentage of black women who marry “out” is incorrect in your article.

    The number of black women who married out in 2110, according to the study in question, was actually less than 9%.

  7. says

    I don’t understand why anyone would be happy with this. African-Americans have drastic amounts of poverty, welfare abuse, and criminal behavior.
    Marrying into that culture seems like a terrible thing.
    Anyone who claims different has been brainwashed by Cultural Marxism.

    Why is it that only the white countries have to marry inter-racially. Nobody is telling Mexico to take African immigrants.

  8. Brandon K. Thorp says

    Elg: Good catch. Typo corrected.

    Paul R: Thanks for reading. I try to remember to put “race,” “multi-racial,” etc. in quotation marks because “race” is such a bogus concept. It’s got no basis in genetics, and nobody can define what the term means.

    – BKT

  9. Rick says

    @Miket28 You can probably safely assume that most of that 63% are lying, out of fear of being accused of racism. The actual figure is probably closer to 20% and much lower for white-black coupling than for white-Asian coupling.

  10. Paul R says

    Ugh, I promised myself that I’d never respond to Rick/Jason, but I can promise you that the number of “Paul R’s of the world” are few. And I don’t post bigoted, racist, sexist comments dozens of times a day.

    Anyone who agrees with Rick is kidding themselves. No one can ever understand the relationship between a couple. You cannot understand what happens behind their closed doors.

    And Brandon, I will always read you. I love your (sometimes obscure) use of words. I’m a writer and editor, so it’s amusing and amazing to see. xoxo.

  11. sara says

    Rick is awfully invested in informing us every person in the US is not OK with interracial marriages to the point where he’s making up statistics out of his ass.

    Anyways, as a “multi racial” former immigrant married to a white American , it’s all been pretty harmonious for me. We’ve been married 17 years & it’s never been an issue even with the other family being tea party & conservative Repubs. And yes, there’s a family member married to a Korean woman and I’m going to assume it’s not a fetish as they’ve been together 15 years and he’s the grandfather to her son’s (from a first marriage) children as well. I know plenty of people in interracial marriages including myself, so I can speak from experience.

    It also seems every time I leave the house I see interracial families. Two days ago I saw a white woman with a black child who called her grandma & then an older African American man came up to her. Just yesterday at the Supermarket I saw a African American man & a white woman holding hands.

    Maybe the people who find this unbelievable are not living in very diverse areas.

  12. Daniel Berry, NYC says

    I think this is a matter of exposure more than anything else. I live in NYC where interracial couplings are old news and have been since long before I moved here 30 years ago. A change here, however, has been the increasing number of interracial couplings between Asians and other ethnicities. Nearly every one of my white friends – straight and gay – are coupled with Asian partners. But while this is relatively recent in New York, that’s not the case on the West coast where Asian people have formed a significant segment of the “mainstream” social landscape for a much longer period.

  13. Daniel Berry, NYC says

    Rick just can’t stop himself from peddling hatred. He does so consistently enough to make me suspect someone’s underwriting it!

  14. says

    It would be interesting to see a tally that focuses on Gay marriage patterns. Maybe that will become possible as marriage equality increases. There is a horrendous amount of sexual racism in the Gay male “community”.

  15. Gregv says

    I’ve noticed a big difference since I started using the Internet. It used to be, 15 years ago, that a typical conservative Evangelical Republican could pretty much be assumed to be an opponent of interracial marriages (and they would suggest that being against integrating schools or restaurants in the past was wrong but “nobody knew any better 30 years ago” — in spite of the fact that obviously a lot of more liberal people always did know better).
    Then, only VERY recently, the same people have been saying that interracial marriage is not immoral, but, again, nobody knew better before the ’90s.
    This has a direct parallel to what’s going on with attitudes toward gay people. First, they all deserve to die. Then, well, that kind of violence is just not right, but they don’t deserve to have the same jobs as other people and shouldn’t be allowed any spousal rights. Then, well, maybe having jobs as teachers or military is okay, and maybe SOME spousal rights but not all.
    And now American attitudes toward same-sex couples are right about where they were toward inter-racial couples in the early ’90s. Fifteen years from now, most Conde stoves won’t have a problem with it, and twenty years from now they’ll be bragging on how Christian leaders were at the forefront of equal rights for gay people and start getting amnesia about all the fact that the conservative Evangelicals were the ones who once again stood in the way for so long.

  16. Gregv says

    @Stuffed Animal: Census results have suggested that same-sex couples are four times more likely to be inter-racial than mixed-sex couples.
    The percentages among SAME-sex couples get about as close as they could be to what would be expected in a post-racist society where people would choose a partner based on criteria like character and compatibility.
    There is some racism, some homophobia, some sexism to be found in EVERY large grouping of humans, of course (and there is a SMALL number of frequent commenters to this blog who are racist, sexist and homophobic all rolled into one.)
    But I feel very confident that all of those prejudices are much more mild and less frequent in the gay community as a whole.
    My partner and I have never once encountered a single instance of real-life racism toward either of us in the gay community. I can’t say the same outside of it, though. (His mother, for example, isn’t fond of white people like me.)

  17. Paul R says

    I’m glad that you explained Conde stoves. I was baffled.

    I’m sorry that your partner’s mother isn’t fond of you. I’ve dealt with the same thing in two of my four main relationships. I was also recently called a “white b*tch” by an Asian woman who then chased me with a knife because my dog peed in front of her restaurant. Luckily my dog is 100 pounds and barked fiercely, so that took care of that.

  18. InscrutableTed says

    Americans used to think that marriage between whites and blacks would be the end of white America.

    They’re wrong, of course. If anything, it would be the end of black America, since whites outnumber blacks so much.

    Or, more likely, lines between white America and black America will blur until they become more-or-less a single culture. The American “melting pot” at work.

  19. Saythetruth says

    The obsession of some Americans with “race” can sound incompressible for other countries. But I guess is the consequence of its particular history plus the fact that many ethnicities that formed the States had similar concepts ingrained. If anything it seems something less and less relevant with time, though the same can not be said regarding each group involved. The end of that sociological trauma will be the day all Americans can report their ethnicity as “American”, and get over with all the hysterical fuss and sensitivities. The mere fact that they can report a marriage as “interracial” is a sign of the long road ahead.

  20. Feriesiles says

    The one thing I’ve often experienced with many interracial couples is their willingness to distance themselves from the gay marriage movement, and sometimes be completely against gay marriage. It’s very fascinating to me. Something that has not enabled me to always respect their plight when many of them can’t understand ours.

  21. ratbastard says

    I have a problem with this study. They’re mixing race with ethnicity. Of course the vast majority of Americans are of mixed ethnicity, I myself am of at least four separate European ‘ethnicities’, but am also a native born and raised American.

    Hispanic: What exactly is this term’s meaning? Hispanic is not a race, it simply refers to someone from so-called Latin America, one of the former Spanish colonies. Sometimes Portuguese and Brazilians are included. Some Hispanics are mixed, usually Native Indian and white, or in the Caribbean especially, mixed white and black. Some are pure native Indian Mestizo. Some are black, especially in the Caribbean and Brazil, and many are white of Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, even German and Irish descent. The recent Mexican president Vincente Fox was half Irish/Spanish. Fox is an Irish name. Che Guevera was Irish/Spanish.

    My understanding is the number of mixed race married couples is still quite small in the U.S. and elsewhere, well below 5%. I personally could care less, but from experience I can tell you there are problems, especially regarding white/black couples, and most of those problems tend to come from blacks not whites. Asians/whites and Hispanics/whites Anglos is commonplace.